Letters: Seagull menace needs co-ordinated action

Is action needed to tackle seagulls in the Capital?
Is action needed to tackle seagulls in the Capital?
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The comment article by Conservative environment spokesman at Edinburgh Council Nick Cook (News, February 14) accurately described the nature of the urban gulls problem in the Capital and the refusal of the Labour/SNP coalition to take robust action to deal with it.

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A pilot de-nesting service was carried out in North Merchiston - an urban gull hotspot - in 2013.

Over five days two council pest control team employees managed to clear the tenement rooftops in seven streets of 107 nests and 165 eggs. But no formal evaluation took place and no records were kept of costs.

A second pilot has been requested to correct that deficit in order to facilitate future planning but this has been refused.

In 2013 no outside contractors nor special equipment were hired and there was no detriment to the ability of the council team to carry out its income-generating commercial activities. Indeed the team succeeded in increasing that income by 15 per cent in the same year.

Yet as a South West Neighbourhood Partnership paper of 7 June 2016 showed, the council persists in claiming the pilot cost £9000.

The same paper also stated that any future service should be ‘owner-led’, revealing the council’s wilful blindness to the need, in densely populated tenement areas, for action to be co-ordinated by a public authority.

Disrupting the breeding activities of gulls in such areas would bring safety and peace within any one locality to hundreds of residents.

Kay Smith, North Merchiston